You’re not a millionaire. There I’ve said it, now we can move on because I’m assuming that like me that you don’t have an extra $100,000 laying around to turn your current home into your version of a Dream House. Nor can you afford the fantasy of moving into the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood, it’s just a waste of your energy and you’re going to need it. You’ve got a Ranch built when an open floor plan meant a slightly wider than a door entry into the kitchen……deal. Too harsh? Well, suck it up buttercup that’s your reality, it doesn’t have to stop your dreams! First you need to appreciate what you’ve got, and work with it.
Get Off The Sidelines
I don’t have cable and recently I found several HGTV shows on Netflix and started watching them. I came away disappointed and with a little more understanding about why it’s so hard for some people to get inspired to come to the realization that dreams can come true with a little elbow grease even with less money.
While entertaining and beautiful, those shows taught me nothing. The budget those homeowners had access to will never happen for me unless I can convince my husband to sell both of his kidneys, possibly his liver to further my decorating dreams. I will never be able to hire a Interior Designer and a General Contractor to entirely gut my house and start over, and let’s be honest….I would hover. There’s no way I would turn over my home to someone else’s conception of my dream home. The three shows I watched didn’t involve the homeowners much at all except for the phone calls informing them that they needed more money or for their facial expressions as they were shown the finished product. The homeowners didn’t work on the design or remodel, they weren’t taken on junkin or shopping trips, they didn’t do one single project for the space that they will live in for years. It was presented to them finished. I don’t get it. Considering today’s scary economy how many people really have that kind of money? And where was their stuff, the stuff that they will actually live with. What do you do if you have a very limited budget, want a dream house but have no earthly idea how to achieve it? Where are the shows for the average Joanne whose husband has to google the word jigsaw? How do you get the kitchen you deserve when $100 is a lot of money? Well, you learn to be patient….home wasn’t built in an one hour episode, it can take years. You’ll learn to depend on your own instincts and how to love projects! You’ll paint, strip, junk, upholster, use a nail gun and buy your own jigsaw with matching accessories. If you think about it, you’ll becomes your own HGTV show but with a slightly smaller audience of one.
Your Dreams Are Made With Projects
Everything becomes a project. You want the Farmhouse look? Go to places like Habitat For Humanity ReStore. There you will find not only home decor and furniture, but lumber, trim, doors, cabinets, windows, light fixtures, tile and hardware at thrift store prices. Do you want to go Industrial? Change the wall color, paint cabinets and make your own light fixtures and hardware using junk. You can change the entire style of your cabinets with just the right trim, and Voile you have French Country Cabinets instead of cookie cutter Ranch. Haunt garage sales, thrift stores, estate sales and auctions. Don’t be afraid of your own design instincts or to dig through someone’s curbside trash. What’s dignity got to do with decorating?
Learn to look for the potential of something, the bones of the piece if you will instead of what it is. This is either a vanity or piano bench, but I needed a small coffee table and at $15 the price was right. Just look at those bones! My front Living Room is long, so I broke it up into two different seating areas. This sat in the front of my small sofa for a while until last week when I found some cool old fence pickets during a sweep of a Big Trash Day on a junkin trip.
I’m in serious love with it now. I cut the pickets to fit, sanded them down and applied a white wax that I mixed together using Johnson’s furniture wax and some flat white latex paint. I used a stencil brush to light brush the wax on, then using a cloth rubbed it in. The sand block is to “fix” any mistakes that I make along the way. The best part of this project is that I can return it to a padded bench later if/when I get bored with it.
While this project may not appeal to you, it makes me happy and I think it brings something cool to my decor. Besides, the whole thing cost me a grand total of $15! But the point is, I made it. It’s mine and it’s one of a kind. It’s now a part of our family’s history and you just can’t get that unless you do the projects yourself. Don’t be afraid to try and even on occasion to fail, that’s really part of the fun. Get out there and find your own magic, build your own history, make your home your own. No one else can do it better. What’s your favorite project? You’ll find one of mine below.
Oh P.S! I had to sneak in a pic of one of my favorite projects! Check out this Grandfather clock display case of my vintage clocks. This is one of my favorite all time projects and since this is my blog, I get to brag when I feel like it. A friend gave me the case, I added the clock face from an old broken school wall clock, added the shelves and set the whole thing on a small footstool. I added the design at the bottom, a little paint, and I’m thinking of being buried with it. You can find some of my other projects HERE. I will add more of them as I find the time.